Star News uplink extensions to continue till GoM's final decision

NEW DELHI: Star News can breathe easy as its temporary extension for uplinking from India would continue till the time a group of ministers (GoM) takes a final view on its case.

Indicating that pending a GoM's decision Star News would continue to be on air, uncertainty notwithstanding, government sources said that the issue may be settled in about 10 days time.

The inter-ministerial group that at present is studying the case of Star News and the antecedents of various companies associated with it, including Media Content & Communications Services India Pvt. Ltd (MCCS) is likely to give its report in a few days time. "It can come as early as two days time," a source in the IMG said.

But what are the scenarios that may unfold over the next 15-20 days time? 

Scenario 1: The Indian government expresses that MCCS, the company that has applied for uplinking permission, needs to do more to satisfy the government on its integrity and that it is following the guidelines in letter and spirit.

Scenario 2: The government goes in for amendment of the existing guidelines to plug holes with an aim to stop recurrence of Star News-type of cases in the media and that compliance of rules and regulations is strict.

Scenario 3: The government feels that Star News does not satisfy the guidelines altogether.

Scenario 4: Star News does satisfy all the conditions stipulated in the guidelines.

In the first three scenarios, MCCS if it wishes to continue uplinking content for Star News from India would have to go in for more restructuring.

But if scenario No. 2 is resorted to with willpower, then not only MCCS would have to undergo a major change, but the shareholders agreement also needs to change drastically with editorial control in Indian hands and a dominant Indian shareholder having over 50 per cent stake in the news venture.

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